2 Why Interpret? Never forget that an author begins with a blank page Everything put into the text makes a contribution to the author’s vision/perspective
3 Plot Sequence of RELATED events that happen in the story Clearly build toward something aheadCONFLICT (a struggle of some kind) is the most important element in the plotSeries of complications contribute to rising action
4 SettingIncludes WHERE a story takes place and WHEN a story takes placeCan affect mood/tone
5 ConflictMan vs. NatureMan vs. ManMan vs. SelfMan vs. Society
6 Characterization How a writer reveals a character’s personality Shown through:ActionsWords & thoughtsPhysical descriptionOther characters’ thoughts/commentsAuthor’s/narrator’s thoughts/comments
7 Characterization Examine the character’s “journey” Evolve/Devolve? Grow or become diminished?Better off or worse off beginning to end?Much movement but same place?What contributed to shaping character?
8 SymbolismWhen the author uses objects, events, or characters to represent THE BIG PICTURESomething in the story stands for something elseIn the Bible, seeds eaten by birds stand for those who hear and don’t believe
9 Irony When something happens that is the opposite of what is expected For example, a woman is assaulted by a man, waits 35 years to get revenge, then falls in love with him the next time they meet
10 Point of View The angle from which the story is told Could be 1st person (I, we), 3rd person (he, she, they), and rarely 2nd person (you)Can be limited or omniscient (all-knowing)
11 Style How it is said influences what it means Does it change the pace? Does it suggest something about characters?How’s it make the reader feel?
12 Theme The Author’s vision What’s s/he saying about human nature, the way the world works, our relations to others?It’s just one view & it’s up for interpretationDeath of the Author